Adam Frye’s values can be summed up in three quick sentences:
- Find your passion.
- Relentlessly pursue it.
- Help others do the same.
Adam first joined WEtech Alliance as a Social Innovation Advisor back in January 2017.
With the creation of the Innovation Catalyst program, Adam then transitioned into the Director of Business Innovation role. As the WEtech team continues to grow, Adam now takes on the new role of Director of Operations and Partnerships.
Before joining the WEtech team, Frye has cut his teeth in the Waterloo-Toronto startup community for five years, both as an early employee in a high growth social enterprise and a startup coach and mentor for young entrepreneurs.
Frye was the first employee at Textbooks for Change. As the first hire, his responsibilities primarily involved business development and growth. Over the next two years, Frye helped the organization expand from 3 to 27 employees—all while providing East African universities with over 175,000 textbooks!
“I learned about the ins and outs of entrepreneurship by actually doing it!” Frye laughs.
Frye recently received a certificate from MIT Sloan School of Management, completing the Corporate Innovation: Strategies for Leveraging Ecosystems executive program.
If you’d like to learn more about one half of our office’s total Adam supply, read on…
Q: Describe yourself in five words.
A: Empathetic leader, driven by curiosity.
Q: Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?
Q: What were you like in high school?
A: I was sort of an… athletic nerd? I didn’t hang out with the jocks. I hung out with a smaller crew. I was an academic jock. The ultimate paradox.
Q: What would your pet say about you if we asked for a reference?
A: “Great belly rubs. Top five in the world.”
Q: What do you work toward in your free time?
A: I read a ton. I’m a bit of a history buff. I’m always trying to understand how history unfolded and how we can learn from it. I’m addicted to learning about the past.
Q: What’s your favourite ’90s jam?
A: “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” by the Backstreet Boys. We bust that one out all the time.
Q: You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
A: I’d add a new crayon: Essex County Sunset. It’d have those vivid reds and blues. There’s nothing like a sunset in Essex County. I hope more people get to experience it.
Q: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
A: I had squid ink, once. That’s kind of a weird one. And I had the eyeball of a fish once, on a dare. But that’s more gross than weird.
Q: Which animal would make the best type of president if the animal kingdom ever rises up and takes over?
A: I mean, the apes and dolphins are the most intelligent. But are they going to be noble leaders? Hmmmm. Yeah, let’s go full Planet of the Apes.
Q: Favourite superhero?
A: Fun fact about me: I own 1,300 comic books. And they’re all Marvel. I’m a big Daredevil guy! I think he’s a fascinating character. (Ben Affleck did him dirty.)
Q: Have you ever tried to do something and you knew that you were going to be really bad at it, but you did it anyway?
A: Last summer me and my wife took a 21-day trip out west. We hiked four mountains. We were not in awesome shape. But, we went with some friends and they encouraged us. It was a struggle.
Q: If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?
A: Some form of a bird? I have no ambition to be an animal.
Q: You’re on death row. What’s your last meal?
A: (Clears throat.)
My appetizer is going to be muscles in a white wine sauce and a Manhattan.
My main is going to be a 35-day aged prime rib and garlic mashed potatoes with a bottle of Black Stallion red wine.
For dessert, a skillet cookie with mountains of ice cream on top.
And Scotch and a cigar to top it off.
Q: Who would play you in a movie?
A: Jesse Eisenberg. He’s my guy.
Q: What would the title of your autobiography be called?
A: “Rise and Grind.” That was my fun saying, back in the day.
Q: Worst haircut you’ve ever had.
A: As a five-year-old, I had a mohawk and a mullet combination. There’s some wedding photos of me with the haircut. My parents thought it was so funny.
Q: Describe the colour yellow to somebody who is blind.
A: The colour yellow is the smell of a sunflower and the feel of warm sand underneath your toes.
Q: Scale of 1 to 10 how cool are you?
A: Like, a 4. I go to bed at 9. I read. I’m not cool. At all.
Q: What Looney Tunes character do you most identify with?
A: The Tasmanian Devil. I bring a ton of energy everywhere.
Q: What is your best feature?
A: Other than my butt? Hmmm. I think I truly am a good listener. I’m empathetic. It’s something I’ve practiced. (But mainly the booty.)
Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
A: Marrying my wife Kristen.
Q: What is one thing people don’t know about your role at WEtech Alliance?
A: I think the one thing people don’t know is how robust everything is for our industry partners. We have so much strong programming. We can work with really large industry partners.
Q: What would you say to a startup just joining WEtech?
A: Commit to the programming. It works. Commit to the plan. The biggest thing startups need right now is the tangibility of the coaching and the accountability we offer.